Gore Vidal, controversial literary giant, dies at 86

Gore Vidal, the literary giant who said there is “no such thing as a homosexual or heterosexual person”, has died.

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Mr Vidal was open about his homosexual encounters and relationships.

But he insisted: “There is no such thing as a homosexual or heterosexual person.


“There are only homosexual or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices.”

Mr Vidal claimed to have had more than 1,000 sexual encounters with both men and women before the age of 25.

Early in his career he wrote a novel, The City and the Pillar, celebrating homosexuality.


Mr Vidal blamed monotheism for the existence of a binding sexual morality.

He said: “Although many of the Christian evangelists feel it necessary to convert everyone on earth to their primitive religion, they have been prevented – so far – from forcing others to worship as they do, but they have forced – most tyrannically and wickedly – their superstitions and hatred upon all of us through the civil law and through general prohibitions.

“So it is upon that account that I now favor an all-out war on the monotheists.”


Eugene Luther Gore Vidal was born in 1925. He later shortened his name to Gore Vidal.

The Wall Street Journal described him as a “slashing literary provocateur”, and the New York Times as “an Augustan” figure and an “elegant, acerbic, all-round man of letters”.

Mr Vidal passed away at his Hollywood Hill’s home on July 31 at the age of 86.